1.618 + Northmodern: A Golden Design Partnership

By Jody McCutcheon

Northmodern, Copenhagen’s most-visited trade fair, made its annual appearance in the Bella Centre’s Crystal Hall from August 18-20, boasting an eclectic offering of creativity and sustainability to a curious, demanding public. Within that, sixteen exhibitors from twelve nations showed off their sustainably forward-thinking, award-winning ideas in science, technology and craft, all curated that French-based champion of sustainable luxury, 1.618 Paris.

Founded in 2009 by Barbara Coignet, 1.618’s moniker evokes the Golden Ratio, a mathematical representation of nature’s beauty and harmony, which fits in well with 1.618’s combination  of luxury and sustainable development. Leading professionals consider the 1.618 Sustainable Luxury Guide an indispensable reference  for introducing  international audiences to deserving, discerning brands. Each brand found in the Guide is handpicked by 1.618 staff and represents the best in innovation, creativity, quality and sustainability.

Which brings us back to the Scandinavian trade show. Attendees enjoyed opportunities to interact with intriguing products, glimpse the future of sustainable luxury and participate in topical, dynamic debates. The following are some of the exceptional brands showcased at the three-day event.



Finnish lighting company Woodlabo emerged in 2010, inspired by our conquest of space. Their high-end wooden light fixtures resemble stars, or perhaps blazing suns, representing a manifestation of our dreams of reaching ever farther into the cosmos.

Woodlabo’s flagship fixture models are the Apollo and the Eagle, two names intimately connected with the first manned moon landing. The 100w Apollo light resembles that first vehicle’s nosecone, or command module, while the 30,000-hour LED Eagle is named after the Apollo’s lunar module.

The fixtures are constructed of wood collected from Europe’s sustainably managed forests, specifically those certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. Woodlabo also walks the talk in regards to carbon emissions, exemplified this year by the organization’s implementation of a program to compensate for transportation-based carbon emissions. With its combination of inspiration, beauty and sustainability, Woodlabo is as fitting an inclusion in Northmodern as their lamps are in your house.



Shelter by Edenismes-Pure Creation

Back in 2006 in Morocco, the French company Edenismes-Pure Creation conceived the first Shelter brand of Nomad luxury camps, “Villa Ô,” to promote a form of luxury tourism that’s both creative and gentle on the environment.

Shelter lets you create your own portable oasis in the desert or on water. There is also a sailing yacht version and a “SpaVilla” version with a sheltered coral garden. Each subscribes to Shelter’s sustainable philosophy. This concept of “greennovation” incorporates eco-friendly, local and green-powered materials, coral or vegetable garden sanctuaries, spa and yoga services and organic foods.

Essentially, this is luxury tourism without all the ecological hassle and natural displacement of building a big, luxury hotel. Those of you with a powerful wanderlust can pick up and move to a new location whenever you want. Now you can see the world and tread gently on it.

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Kovac Lights

From the designer who once created wallpaper that improves indoor air quality comes an idea so revolutionary that it could change the way lamplights (among other things) are powered. Camilla Kovac started multidisciplinary Swedish business The Kovac Family in 2012 with big ideas in mind. Inspired by nature, she sought to create products with minimal environmental impact by using minimal materials; those used must be eco-friendly and easily recyclable.

Rather than  crowdfunding  finances, The Kovac Family chooses to “design fund.” Hence their Numbers collection: called the 25Lamp because it’s made from 25 pieces, these light fixtures are locally produced from locally sourced, sustainable materials including  FSC certified  oak, ash or birch, while the cords are PVC free.

The earnings from these lamps will fund Kovac’s big idea; one that’s inspired by nature’s use of light, especially with regards to creatures like marine sponges, beetles and tropical butterflies. Essentially, the concept is to create light without using electricity in a wallpaper-thin, flexible material, via a biomimetic method. With lighting accounting for up to a fifth of the electricity used in residential and commercial settings, biomimetic lighting would greatly decrease carbon dioxide emissions, not to mention costs.


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Interested in a great-looking, 60’s cafe-style motorcycle? How about one with zero emissions? Congratulations! You’ve just voted for the RayVolt Cruzer, an electric pedal-assisted cycle (EPAC). Along with RayVolt’s mountain bike-style Ozone, these stylish e-bikes promote fossil fuel-free travel.

The Barcelona-based company’s name is a portmanteau of sun “ray” and the electrical unit “volt,” as well as a play on the word “revolt,” being the revolution that it is on traditional energy sources. RayVolt’s e-bikes are powered by recyclable lithium batteries that can be charged by plug-in source or by a solar-charging blanket that drapes over the bike. Furthermore, the company offers a clever recycling program: customers who recycle their old batteries receive a discounted new battery. And for every bike sold, the company will adopt one mangrove tree. Saving mangroves is important to RayVolt, as mangroves play crucial roles in their ecosystems.

RayVolt e-bike features include a limited top speed of 25kph in EPAC mode and a Moped mode with an unlimited top speed of 49kph, regenerative braking, and a smart system called Electronic Intelligent Vehicle Assistant, which offers a GPS “tourist map,” various drive modes and Bluetooth connectivity. One of the colours the Cruzer comes in identifies as British green. But even if you get it in cool grey or clockwork orange, your journey from point A to point B will still be green and clean.

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Jody McCutcheon

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